Many Americans face a challenge when deciding on their future careers. Higher education is essential to getting ahead, especially in a tough employment market. At the same time, the costs have been steadily growing for decades. It’s vital to know the cheapest colleges in Minnesota to make the right decision.
Potential students need to choose a practical occupation and a school that won’t leave them in debt that will take years to pay off. The average cost of college and tuition in the U.S. is $32,889, and that price tag is growing at a rate of 5.2%.
At the same time, economic research shows people with a college degree make 80% more money annually than those without one. With those numbers, the right degree at a fair price is a profitable and wise decision.
|1||University of Minnesota – Twin Cities||Minneapolis, Minnesota|
|2||Martin Luther College||New Ulm, Minnesota|
|3||University of Minnesota – Rochester||Rochester, Minnesota|
|4||Bemidji State University||Bemidji, Minnesota|
|5||Saint Olaf College||Northfield, Minnesota|
Finding the Cheapest College in Minnesota that Meets Your Needs
University of Minnesota – Twin Cities
The University of Minnesota at Twin Cities is a public college founded in 1851 that sits on 1,204 acres in an urban setting. It offers over 135 majors across 17 schools, including biological sciences, management, public health, education and human development, and science and engineering. The number 1 school on our list provides quality education at an affordable price.
Martin Luther College
Martin Luther College in New Ulm, Minnesota, is a small, private Christian college with an NCAA Division II football team. The school’s programs focus on education and theology majors, such as early childhood, elementary, and middle and secondary education. It also offers a pre-seminary program.
University of Minnesota – Rochester
The third school on our cheapest colleges in Minnesota list is the University of Minnesota at Rochester. The small public university focuses on health science and health profession majors. It offers degrees in respiratory care, radiography, sonography, and echocardiography.
Bemidji State University
Another college at number three is Bemidji State University. Tied with the University of Minnesota at Rochester, it’s a public school in Bemidji, founded in 1919. The difference is in the program offerings. It provides a highly specialized catalog that includes a wide range of options, including accounting, engineering, management, marketing, music, biology, computer science, and dozens of other choices.
Saint Olaf College
The university in Northfield is a private school sitting on a 300-acre campus in a rural setting. Founded in 1874, it’s an Evangelical Lutheran college that requires students to take bible and theology courses. Saint Olaf College offers a wide range of majors, such as environmental studies, computer science, education, economics, exercise science, social work, and theater.
Minneapolis College of Art & Design
Founded in 1886, the private university in Minneapolis is a small, competitive school that offers in-person and online classes on its three-acre campus next to the Minneapolis Institute of Art. The Minneapolis College of Art & Design offers several undergraduate majors, including animation, comic art, filmmaking, graphic design, illustration, and drawing and painting.
*When factoring in average aid, the cost is closer to around $10,623 per semester. About 97% of students receive financial aid and it is rare that they pay “full sticker” price. More information can be found here.
The private institution in Saint Paul is a small college sitting on 53 acres in an urban setting. Founded in 1874, it’s a liberal arts school in an intimate setting that offers dozens of majors. Macalester College is the sixth cheapest college in Minnesota. It offers degrees in astronomy, chemistry, biology, computer science, creative writing, educational studies, economics, and many more subject matters.
University of Minnesota – Crookston
The University of Minnesota in Crookston is a public school sitting on a 108-acre urban campus. It offers programs in agriculture and natural resources, liberal arts and education, business and math, and science and technology. All students at the Northwest Minnesota school receive laptops and personalized mentorship while attending the state university.
Saint Catherine University
The small, private Catholic school in Saint Paul was founded in 1905 and is located on a 110-acre campus. Saint Catherine University is a competitive school that offers a wide range of course options available in-person, online, and hybrid. The most popular majors at the Saint Paul college include health professions, business management, marketing, public administration, and social sciences.
The College of Saint Scholastica
Situated on a 186-acre campus in Duluth, the College of Saint Scholastica is a private Catholic College overlooking Lake Superior. It offers over 40 different majors, such as nursing, business, exercise physiology, education, computer information sciences, communications, and theology. The college also has an NCAA Division III football team and will be a part of the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference starting Fall of 2021.
Founded in 1854, the private four-year school in Saint Paul sits on a 60-acre campus in an urban Minnesota setting. Hamlin University has the distinction of being the state’s first higher learning institution. It offers nearly 50 areas of study, such as analytical economics, accounting, business administration, biology, criminology, digital media arts, education, pre-law, and pre-medical. Hamline University is number three on our cheapest colleges in Minnesota list, and it’s tied with the University of Minnesota.
University of Minnesota – Morris
Also, at number 10, the University of Minnesota at Morris is a public liberal arts college founded in 1959. The state school is located in Morris on a 130-acre campus. It has a large selection of academic programs to choose from, including education, humanities, science, theatre arts, sports management, and computer science. The university offers courses online and in-person.
Concordia College – Moorhead
Founded in 1891, Concordia College at Moorhead is a private, four-year liberal arts school on a 113-acre suburban campus. It offers an extensive list of more than 120 majors, minors, and licensures. The most popular include education, business management, marketing, biological sciences, and visual and performing arts. Concordia College is tied at number 11 on our cheapest colleges in Minnesota list with the Minnesota State University at Moorhead and the Metropolitan State University at Minnesota.
Minnesota State University – Moorhead
The four-year state school is located in an urban setting on a 119-acre campus. Founded in 1887, it offers rolling admissions for a wide range of majors. The most popular Moorhead programs include Elementary Inclusive Education, Business Administration, Psychology, Social Work, Nursing.
Metropolitan State University – Minnesota
Metropolitan State University is a public institution in Saint Paul, founded in 1971. The fully accredited college has locations in Saint Paul and Minneapolis. The school offers a wide assortment of majors, including nursing, business, liberal arts, accounting, criminal justice, computer science, and human services. Metropolitan State University shares number 11 with Minnesota State University at Moorhead and Concordia College at Moorhead.
Minnesota State University – Mankato
Minnesota State University at Mankato is number 12 on our ranking. Founded in 1868, it’s 85 miles from the Twin Cities and sits on 303-acres that overlooks the Minnesota River Valley. The school has a diverse offering of 130 undergraduate programs, including Minnesota’s only nationally-, regionally-, and state-accredited aviation program.
Founded in 1866, Carleton College in Northfield is a private, top 10 liberal arts school in a rural setting on 1,040 acres. It offers nearly 40 undergraduate majors, over 200 student-led organizations, and 19 varsity athletic teams that compete in the NCAA Division III. Carleton College is tied at number 13 in our cheapest colleges in Minnesota ranking with the College of Saint Benedict and Southwest Minnesota State University.
College of Saint Benedict
The College of Saint Benedict is a private Roman Catholic university founded in 1913 in Saint Joseph. The small suburban school is located on a 300-acre campus and is a member of the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. It offers a wide range of majors, including accounting, business, education, nursing, and theology. The college is tied with Carleton College and the Southwest Minnesota State University at number 13.
Southwest Minnesota State University
The public school, founded in 1963, is also number 13 on our list of the cheapest colleges in Minnesota. Set in a rural area, Southwest Minnesota State University has a 216-acre campus in Marshall. Popular majors include business, education, and sciences.
Dunwoody College of Technology
Dunwoody College of Technology is a private school set on an 11-acre urban campus in Minneapolis. Founded in 1914, the small college offers focused learning across 45 majors, including automotive, construction science, radiologic technology, robotics, engineering, and computer technology.
Saint John’s University – Minnesota
Number 15 on the list is Saint John’s University – Minnesota, in Collegeville. The small, private, Catholic school was founded in 1857 and is located on a 2500-acre rural campus. It offers over two dozen majors, including accounting, business, communications, computer science, theology, and education. The university is tied at number 15 with Winona State University.
Winona State University
At number 15 on the cheapest colleges in Minnesota list, Winona State University is a mid-sized public school in Winona. Founded in1858, it’s located on a 125-acre campus in an urban setting. The most popular majors include business, management, marketing, education, fitness studies, and public administration.
North Central University
North Central University is a small, private religious school in Minneapolis affiliated with the Assemblies of God Church. It sits on a 9-acre urban area campus. It offers over 60 academic programs, such as accounting, education, marketing, church leadership, visual arts, and pastoral studies. The institution is tied at number 16 with Saint Cloud University.
Saint Cloud University
Founded in 1869, Saint Cloud University is a public college located on a 100-acre city campus along the Mississippi River. The school offers over 200 undergraduate programs, including accounting, management, mechanical engineering, nursing, education, and communications.
Gustavus Adolphus College
Gustavus Adolphus College is a private institution set on a 340-acre rural campus in Saint Peter. The highly-selective university is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Founded in 1862, it’s an NCAA Division III football school in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. It offers 72 majors. Some of the most popular are accounting, psychology, business, and communications.
University of Minnesota – Duluth
Founded in 1947, the University of Minnesota – Duluth is a mid-sized regional school that sits on a 244-acre campus overlooking Lake Superior. The NCAA Division II football college is a member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference. It offers 87 undergraduate majors, including psychology, marketing, mechanical engineering, finance, communications, education, and business.
Tied at number 20 on our list of the cheapest colleges in Minnesota with Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, Bethel University is a private Baptist school. Founded in 1847, the 247-acre suburban campus in Arden Hills is 20 minutes from St. Paul and Minneapolis. The NCAA Division III football school is in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Founded in 1871, students can choose from 90 different majors, such as accounting, management, mechanical engineering, pre-law, pre-medicine, and education.
Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota
Founded in 1912, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota is a private Roman Catholic college in Winona. The school sits on a 350-acre campus east of Minneapolis. Degree options include business administration, healthcare, public health, and education.
University of Saint Thomas – Minnesota
The University of Saint Thomas is a mid-sized school located on a 78-acre urban campus in Saint Paul. Founded in 1885, the private college is an NCAA Division III school for football in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. It offers dozens of majors, including marketing, business, finance, mechanical engineering, accounting, and public health education.
Institute of Production & Recording
The Institute of Production & Recording in Minneapolis is tied at number 21 on our cheapest colleges in Minnesota ranking with the Northwestern Health Science University. Founded in 2002, the small specialty school offers two programs, audio production and live sound and film and sound design.
Northwestern Health Science University
Northwestern Health Science University is a small, private school in Bloomington, founded in 1941 as a chiropractic college. It sits on a 25-acre campus south of Minneapolis. The institution offers degrees in chiropractic care, massage therapy, medical assisting, laboratory science, radiologic technology, and nutrition.
University of Northwestern – Saint Paul
Tied at 22 with Bethany Lutheran College, the private, undenominational Christian college is located on a 107-acre suburban campus in Saint Paul. Founded in 1902, it’s an NCAA Division III football school in the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference. The institution provides various majors, including biblical studies, communications, education, engineering, business, and psychology.
Bethany Lutheran College
The private school in Mankato sits on a 50-acre urban-area campus overlooking the Minnesota River Valley. Operated by the Evangelical Lutheran Synod, Founded in 1927, Bethany Lutheran College offers 27 majors, including business administration, communications, computer science, and legal studies.
Tied at number 23 with Crown College and Oaks hill Christian College, Augsburg University is a private school affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church. Located in Minneapolis, the institution sits on a 24-acre campus in an urban setting. It offers a wide range of majors, such as business administration, art, music, communications, education, and theology.
Founded in 1916, Crown College is a private university in Bonifacius associated with the Christ and Missionary Alliance Church. Sitting on a 215-acre rural campus, the institution provides more than 40 accredited degree options on campus and online. The most popular majors include accounting, communication, ministry, theological studies, and business administration.
Oaks Hill Christian College
Number 23 on our list of the cheapest colleges in Minnesota is Oaks Hill Christian College. The private, non-denominational college is located in the Bemidji Township. Founded in 1946, the small, inter-denominational school sits on a 14-acre lakeshore campus. It offers a limited selection of degree programs, such as worship arts, biblical studies, addictions counseling, applied psychology, business, and sports management.
Concordia University-Saint Paul
Concordia University-Saint Paul is a mid-sized school located on a 37-acre urban campus. The private college, founded in 1893, offers over 100 degree programs, including computer science, education, business, sports management, nursing, theology, and marketing.
We comply with higher education rules for rankings using a verifiable formula. All tuition rates are estimated based on the school’s annual cost divided into two semesters. The universities on our ranking go by a 12-credit, full-time course load.
The price per credit is the estimated single semester rate divided by 12. Each school is ranked based on cost per credit and the institution’s graduation rate. For example, schools with low tuition and graduation rates aren’t listed at the top because fewer students graduate after four to six years.
We work to provide you with the most accurate school data from the college’s website or the NCES. We use a reliable methodology to rank schools. Institutions can’t influence editorial content.
If you don’t see your Minnesota college list and would like it considered when we update the content, please contact us. We’re always on the lookout for schools with the highest value across the country.